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Leadership Development Council

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Claudia Contreras

Council Member

Claudia Contreras went to Cal State Northridge and has a BA in political science with a minor in women studies. Her boyfriend of 6 years has Crohns and she loves being involved with his annual golf tournaments pre-pandemic.

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Asher Friedland

Council Member


Asher Friedland is currently a junior in high school at The Leffell School. He was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at the age of eight, but only became active in the IBD community around two years ago (2020). He currently interns for the Mt. Sinai Genetics and Genomics department at the Icahn School, helping out with IBD research. He is also the admin of an IBD Facebook page that promotes diet and fitness while living with IBD. He has been studying nutrition and fitness for the past three years and applying it to himself in a way that helps him control his Crohn's, and the success that he has had made him eager to help others with the condition.

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Ritu Gaikwad

Council Member

Ritu Gaikwad has been an IBD patient since age 13. She has been involved in C to C for a while now, around 2 years, and has really enjoyed contributing to IBD fundraising and awareness and support for the greater patient community! She is a recent graduate of UCLA, with a BS in Neuroscience and currently applying to medical school in the hopes of being a future GI! She believes that nutrition and diet are also super important, and has been working on a South Asian cookbook project with the team here in an effort to spread awareness to other IBD patients.


Jonah Dylan

Council Member


Jonah Dylan is a journalist who lives in Hartford, Connecticut. He graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and political science and is the son of C to C co-founder Stacy Dylan.


Lowell Dylan

Council Member

Lowell Dylan lives in Los Angeles and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of two. Lowell’s mother Stacy is the co-founder of Connecting to Cure Crohn’s and Colitis. Through 20 years of experience dealing with endless complications of his disease,  Stacy been a great advocate and caretaker for his health and the health of other IBD patients and families. Lowell has learned about patient advocacy along the way.  Lowell is a musician and a basketball coach.

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